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The Long-Run Effects of Peers on Mental Health

Lukas Kiessling () and Jonathan Norris ()
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Jonathan Norris: University of Strathclyde

No 2020_12, Discussion Paper Series of the Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods from Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods

Abstract: This paper studies how peers in school affect students’ mental health. Guided by a theoretical framework, we find that increasing students’ relative ranks in their cohorts by one standard deviation improves their mental health by 6% of a standard deviation conditional on own ability. These effects are more pronounced for low-ability students, persistent for at least 14 years, and carry over to economic long-run outcomes. Moreover, we document a strong asymmetry: Students who receive negative rather than positive shocks react more strongly. Our findings therefore provide evidence on how the school environment can have long-lasting consequences for the well-being of individuals.

Keywords: Peer Effects; Mental Health; Depression; Rank Effects (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: I21 I14 J24 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2020-06
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-hea, nep-net and nep-ure
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http://www.coll.mpg.de/pdf_dat/2020_12online.pdf (application/pdf)

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